Ever since home consoles made arcades nearly go extinct, new fighting games have been on the decline. Now, new arcade stick peripherals are quite rare. Fortunately, reviewers say that the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition still performs like a champ despite its advancing age. The controller uses the same joystick and button hardware found in the arcade version of the "Street Fighter IV" fighting game and delivers an unbeatably authentic experience. Critics say that same attentiveness to detail carries over to other aspects of the controller, such as the faraway placement of system navigation buttons in relation to the larger arcade buttons to avoid mis-presses during gameplay. Reviewers also like the beautiful artwork on the face of the machine and the ease with which modders can alter the internals of the hardware. Both professional reviewers and amateur users call the Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition virtually flawless, although some issue a cautionary note that the PS3 version is only compatible with PCs that support the older USB 1.1 standard. If you have a cramped desk or a light wallet, reviewers say the cheaper and smaller Hori Fighting Stick EX2 (*Est. $50) is a decent budget option.
IGN.com conducts an extensive review of the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition, while GameSpot.com pits it against a handful of other arcade sticks in free-for-all rumble to see which is king of the fighting game hill. Forum members at GameTrailers.com and tons of Newegg.com and Amazon.com users provide valuable hands-on reports.
Scott Lowe dedicates two wordy pages to his review of the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition. He finds nothing bad to say about the stick en route to awarding it an "Amazing" 9.7 out of 10 score. "Overall, the Tournament Edition FightStick is truly an expertly crafted, high-performance arcade stick that will change how you think about Mad Catz as a player in the gaming accessory space," he writes.
Review: Mad Catz Tournament Edition FightStick Review, Scott Lowe, Jan. 23, 2009
This arcade stick roundup pits two Mad Catz sticks against two Hori models, and although the Hori models earn excellent reviews of their own, the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition proves itself exceptional and is awarded a perfect 5-star rating. The joystick and buttons feel exactly like they do at the arcade, the critics report. "The Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition is a faithful companion that will ward off hadoukens throughout the Third World Warrior Tournament and beyond," they say in conclusion.
Review: Arcade Stick Roundup, Lark Anderson and James You, Feb. 2009
Amazon.com users offer their opinions on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition, and those 100-plus combined users almost all report being incredibly happy with the purchase. The vast majority award perfect scores and call every aspect of the stick nothing short of excellent, although some PS3 owners caution that that version of the controller is only compatible with PCs that still support the USB 1.1 standard.
Review: Street Fighter IV Fightstick, Contributors to Amazon.com
Contributors leave their opinion on both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version of the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition at Newegg.com, both of which are PC-compatible. The build quality and performance of the stick is praised as being second to none, although like on Amazon.com, users warn that the PS3 version won't work with AMD motherboards (which don't support the USB 1.1 standard).
Review: MadCatz PS3 Street Fighter IV Fight Stick Tournament Edition, Contributors to Newegg.com
In this forum thread, one user asks for the group's recommendations for the best PC arcade stick. A number of options are put forward by other members, but the Mad Catz Street Fighter IV FightStick Tournament Edition is the controller most often mentioned as the best bet.
Review: Best PC Arcade Stick? Help!, Contributors to GameTrailers.com forums